It's a plight suffered by many. I want to be fitter. I want to be able to run a 5k without feeling like I'm going to die. Heck, I want to be able to run any distance without feeling like I'm going to collapse into a wheezy heap. I'm not overweight, I don't smoke, drink or anything else particularly negative. I am lazy, though. Given the choice between hitting the gym or playing a video game, I'll take the latter every time. I suspect I'm not alone there. However, this is starting to change, courtesy of my iPhone and the wealth of apps I can pick up to encourage me to achieve my goals.
Last year, I discovered the Fitocracy website. It turned exercise into experience points, it offered me awards and challenges to work towards. It immediately boosted my motivation levels. Relatively soon afterwards, the iOS app for Fitocracy was released.
It's great. I can enter all my activities while I'm in the gym. Reps take a second to enter and I can watch the points flow in. It's not perfect, though. Given my weak cardio exercises, the points aren't massive. Longer runs or cycles are needed, and that takes time and effort. I needed an extra carrot to tempt me along.
I dabbled with MiCoach, a great gadget that connects to your trainers tracking my every move.
It's a useful app and gadget. Tracking how I was performing was great and I could also use my stats to progress in MiCoach Soccer. I needed more newbie focused guidance, though.
Two of my all round favorites are Two Hundred Situps and Get Running, the apps that I recommend to anyone vaguely interested in pursuing such things. They do a great job of keeping me exercising while not exhausting me, reminding me not to push myself too far.
As a zombie loving gamer though, I have a huge soft spot for Zombies, Run! 5k Training. It's quite new compared to the competition, but it's great. It offers a similar set plan to Get Running but with a zombie themed storyline to follow. It's the little things like that which make me keen to 'play' the next section and actually look forward to the next treadmill session.
The best part? I have a direct route planned for once I, hopefully, complete the 5k, in the form of Zombies, Run!
For those days where I'm not on the treadmill but I want to keep track of my progress, I stick to Striiv. Offering me a steady trickle of trophies and rewards for walking a lot, it gives me a nice sense of satisfaction, even if I'm just walking around the grocery store. Even better, it's free and helps me resist the temptation to pick up a more expensive solution such as a Nike+ FuelBand.
While I might still need the motivation to get out of bed on a cold, wintery morning in the name of getting fit, such apps encourage me to do it. Sure, I should have the willpower alone but no one's perfect! Fitocracy, in particular, has changed my outlook immensely. Turning potentially tedious work into a game is guaranteed to help matters.
Tempted? Go sign up and feel free to follow me on there to see my progress. I'm slightly behind at the moment, as no app can yet keep you 100% healthy at all times!